Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blessing Threads, and new yarn to weave with

Tonight's new thing in weaving: Blessing Threads. (No, I didn't coin the term.) These are threads of a contrasting color that are inlaid into the weaving to mark the midpoint of a baby wrap. I'll trim those ends off after I wash the finished fabric, so everything has a chance to shrink and shift into its final position first. Evidently this is a pretty popular design touch. Ok, I'm game!

This yarn is the new-to-me 8/2 Valley unmercerized cotton from Webs. So far, I'm really pleased with it. It is strong enough that I've warped and woven without a single broken thread, but still soft to the touch. There were a few knots and slubs in the yarn, but I was able to eliminate most of them while I was measuring out the warp. It will be interesting to see how well it turns out after I get it through that first wash after weaving. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sunrise inspired baby wrap

I was given a commission for a woven baby wrap recently. My client's color choices were inspired by a picture of a sunrise from her front yard. I had fun picking colors to try to match the feel of the picture. Here's a shot of the yarn after I got it all measured out. You can see how I'm planning on blending from one color into the next one.

I tried an experiment on this project: tying directly from the old warp on the loom onto the new one. That way, I don't have to sley the reed or thread the heddles again. It did shave about an hour off of the total project, but I had several snapped threads when I was beaming on the warp. I suspect they twisted around each other in ways that I didn't expect. I'll do more reading on the process, but as it stands I don't think the time savings was worth the extra hassle. That might be different if the pattern threading was challenging to get right, but I'm just using plain weave here, so it isn't an issue.

My next step was to choose which color weft yarn I wanted to use. I sampled these colors, plus black. I do love playing in the colors!

Here's the sample bit at the beginning, showing the effects of the different weft colors. In addition to giving me a sampler to see color interactions, this also has the benefit of evening out the weaving tension and draw in before I start on the actual fabric.

I put enough yarn on my loom for three different baby wraps. They each have a different weft color, so everyone gets a unique piece of wearable art.

Here's all three finished wraps. Yes, I'm standing on my weaving bench, looking down to take this picture. Evidently I really should crop my toes out of the shot. Oops.

 And here is one of the wraps in use! This one had the maroon weft color, which warmed up the feel of the whole piece. I really love seeing the mothers and children using my handiwork. I always get this goofy smile on my face, and it tempts me right back to my loom again. Are they not both gorgeous??